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Big Hearts For Small Business: Local Businesses You Can Continue To Support This Holiday Season

It’s been real 2020, but you’re finally coming to an end. Though extremely turbulent, we’ve all made it this far in the year thanks to the wonderful people in our lives. As the holiday season is quickly approaching, many of us are flipping through our options for gift-giving. There are many ways to make your loved ones feel appreciated during the holidays that don’t include spending money, but if purchasing gifts is your style, then keep reading. 

Holiday shopping can be an extremely stressful process, especially if you’re looking for more personalized items that really cater to your recipient’s interests. A great alternative to buying from large corporations this year-- which usually caters to more generalized tastes-- is supporting small businesses. By buying local, you are giving small business owners an opportunity to practice their craft while giving back to the community at the same time. You also have a much wider selection of goods and services to choose from, and the level of customer service in hospitality you receive is unrivaled. Here are a handful of small businesses you can check out and support to ensure that your loved ones receive a gift truly personalized this season:

Never Ending Smiles Clothing Brand http://neverendingsmilesco.com

Never Ending Smiles is a clothing brand that makes a statement towards choosing happiness despite the struggles in life. The name was carefully chosen by the founder, whose primary vision in the project is spreading positivity and smiles through wearable street fashion. They carry a selection of hoodies, t-shirts and long sleeves in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Remind your loved ones they are a source of happiness in your life while keeping them warm with the styles available at Never Ending Smiles Co.

Janitzi Cosmetics http://www.janitzicosmetics.com

This cosmetic line carries a wonderful selection of beauty, cosmetics and personal care products, specifically designed to help those who are in search of natural products to nourish their skin. The owner of Janitzi Cosmetics has dedicated their time and efforts towards perfecting an organic formula in all of their products-- which includes but is not limited to-- lip scrubs, body oils, facial washes and lash serums. Look no further if you want to give the gift of self-care to your loved ones for the holidays!

Star Cards by Hannah http://www.starcardsbyhannah.com

Star Cards by Hannah features tons of different card designs and colors, all hand-made by the owner, a college student at UC Berkeley. She started her small business at the age of nine, and has been running it ever since. Her cards work towards sustaining the overlooked sentimentalism of hand-written letters in this ever-increasing digitalized world. The line’s custom card designs are guaranteed to give your message to a loved one a personalized touch this holiday season.

Street Scissors Photography http://www.streetscissors.com

Street Scissors Photography is a small business that specializes in photography equipment, specifically older analog cameras. The platform on which the owner is testing and reselling the cameras is personal and fee-less, as opposed to wider known online stores like eBay and Depop, so prices are always fair. 15% of all profits are donated to LA Mutual Aid, so this is a great option for anyone who loves photography and wants to give back to the community while supporting secondhand and sustainable products.

Royalty Cleaners LA Dry Cleaning Service [@RoyaltyCleanersLA on Instagram]

Nestled in the heart of South LA, Royalty Dry Cleaners offers great dry cleaning services at affordable prices. The business is locally owned and operated by a mother and daughter dedicated to sustaining reliable dry cleaning services to the larger Los Angeles Community. They have recently partnered with Veggie Mijas, a nonprofit organization working towards food justice, to implement a community fridge within the shop. This partnership has committed roots in highlighting the issue of food insecurity within the LA neighborhoods by providing free produce, canned goods, cold beverages and additional sanitation items to the residents who need them. If your loved ones are in need of a dry cleaning service that gives back this season, look no further than Royalty Cleaners LA.

In the spirit of the holidays, we should remind ourselves that giving goes both ways. When you buy from a local business, you’re essentially trading in the support and resources owners need to keep their shop running while receiving a quality item or service in return. At this level, your money is valued twice as much in its ability to give back to your loved ones and the larger community. There is no better way to celebrate this gift-giving season than by shopping locally!

Shannon Mia Vo is a third-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Disability Studies. This is her second year writing for UCLA's chapter of Her Campus, and her first year as Assistant Director of Editorial, so she is excited to learn as she goes. Shannon loves to write and believes that words are an essential catalyst for storytelling, education, advocacy, and expression. When she isn't writing, she can be found crafting, rewatching her favorite sitcoms, working out, or browsing through booktok!
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